by Sean Lerat-Stetner
The Cougar men's hockey team's loss in Edmonton against the Golden Bears on March 15 was no regular loss. For one thing, the Cougars were playing for a spot in the Canadian Western Finals.
From the drop of the puck the Golden Bears proved that they were on a mission. Scoring the first goal at 58 seconds into the first period Alberta sent a message: this was their house.
Second, it was the end of a Cougar career for team captain, Shayne Emmons. Emmons first came to the Cougars after a stint in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, where he played with the Weyburn Redwings for two years; previous to that he played in Manitoba for one year.
"One of the reasons I came was because of the petroleum engineering here, and another reason is because I was starting my own business in the area", said Emmons. He received his entrepreneurial gene from his father who was in construction and who had also acquired a gravel pit. Shayne started hanging around the gravel pit and then eventually purchased a piece of equipment and his business started from there.
Last season the Cougars decided to give Emmons the big cheddar-also known as "the C", or the Captain's letter. This anointment is not to be taken lightly Head coach Blaine Sautner says the reason he chose to give Emmons the distinction was because of his seniority and also because "his maturity level was number one, and the respect that he had from the other players was obvious and guys looked up to him."
While Emmons was with the Cougars, the biggest challenge that he faced was "juggling" his time. He had a lot to do. There was practice every day, and then games on Fridays and Saturdays, with a recovery day on Sundays. Add on to that the homework from his classes and running his own business.
"I was juggling all three things, and there wasn't enough hours in the day to get done everything I wanted to get done", he said.
During his tenure with the Cougars, the most memorable time that Emmons can think of is this last week and a half of his career. The team swept Manitoba in the first round of the playoffs, and then came into Alberta and won the first game of the series. Emmons says that in that week and a half span he, "felt like we accomplished the most we had in my whole time here."
After five unanswered goals in the first period, and one in the second, Ryan Bender of the Cougars finally answered back with the only goal that the team would score all night. The final score was University of Alberta Golden Bears seven, University of Regina Cougars one. Not exactly what the Cougars were hoping for. For now, Emmons' time is consumed by university classes and his business venture. He does not have a lot of free time on his hands, "I'm pretty satisfied with where I'm at with that".